How to make The Real Greek’s lamb moussaka

One of Greece's most classic dishes is hearty and rich, with this recipe using plenty of aubergine, courgettes and cinnamon as well as the traditional minced lamb, red wine and herbs

Tonia Buxton
Tuesday 21 February 2017 10:29 GMT
Bake this Greek dish for 35–45 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and serve with salad on the side.
Bake this Greek dish for 35–45 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and serve with salad on the side.

There are so many variations of this Greek comfort dish that I get quite giddy! But this is mine and I like to include more vegetables and more cinnamon than usual: if it is not for you, then halve the quantity.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
​500g lean minced lamb
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
4 tsp ground cinnamon 
2 tbsp tomato purée
​200g can chopped tomatoes or passata
​200ml red wine 
1 large baking potato, 
​250g finely sliced
1 large aubergine, 1cm slices lengthways
2 courgettes, 1 cm slices lengthways

For the béchamel sauce

25g butter
25g plain flour
​300ml milk
A pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the minced lamb, onions and oregano. Cook for 5 minutes until the meat is brown and crumbly, and the onions have softened. Now add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then stir in the cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes or passata, the tomato purée and red wine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

To make the sauce, melt the butter over a medium heat in a small saucepan. Blend in the flour and continue to cook, stirring for 30 seconds or so to lightly brown the flour to a paste. Gradually blend in the milk, a little at a time, whisking to form a smooth, creamy sauce. Add a little grated nutmeg and season to taste.

Spread half the meat in the base of a shallow oblong ovenproof dish (about 28 x 20 x 6cm deep), then layer with potato, aubergine, courgette, the minced lamb, potato, courgette and finally aubergine. Do not worry if the layers are not equal.

Pour over the béchamel sauce, then pop into a preheated oven at 180ºC (fan 160ºC) / Gas 4 and cook for 35–45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve with salad on the side.

The Real Greek, published by Blink Publishing, £20.

The Real Greek restaurant will open in Bournemouth early spring, followed by Reading and Dulwich before the end of 2017

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in